Can I get a "Hell yeah!" ?!

Dezertpilot

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Two time world speedway champ and AMA Hall of Fame’r Bruce Penhall has been etching a solid mark in Baja’s SCORE series, and over the course of his racing partnership with Joe Black, has earned championships and a bunch of podiums in Mexico. Older son Ryan Penhall has paid some heavy dues along the way, including a head on collision under a race truck in 2008. They’ve been going for it against JCR in class 22 for 2 years and are going into the 2009 BAJA 1000 with loaded cannon.

Today, Bruce Penhall said he signed a one-race deal with KAWASAKI to race their KLX450r with the 1x plate of Robbie Bell in the upcoming B1000. Joining the former champ and the Penhall brothers , Ryan and Connor, will be Steve Hengeveld and most likely Destroy Abbott. Bob Bell from Precision Concepts will be building the bike. It all makes sense now. We talked to Bruce not long after the Ryan pulled up to the house with the 1x race bike in the back of the truck.

“We just picked up the bike today, the deal just happened yesterday”, says Penhall, who just announced his team lineup for this November. “I’ve been working on this for a while and my boys used to be on contract with Team Green.”

Penhall was particularly pleased with arrangements.
“Kawi dug deep. They didn’t hem haw a bit. My deal is what I consider to be a very good one in this economy. Four years ago it wouldn’t have looked like the best deal out there, but what they’ve offered us is fantastic considering the circumstances”
The bikes are coming directly from the manufacturer with works components from Team Green and final blueprint from Precision Concepts.
“Bob is building the bike and PC is really stepping up with all the testing. Reid and Jason from Team Green have been a big part of this and they‘ve even got the PR dept. behind the thing.”

The team is as fierce a challenge to Johnny Campbell Racing as they’ve yet to face despite the fact that neither of the Penhalls are in contention for the series points. Robbie Bell and the more experienced Steve Hengeveld both raced with and against each other while on contract under Bruce Ogilvie’s American Honda Racing. Ryan Penhall won a championship in class 20. If Destry Abbott comes on board (which is all but done at press time), you have a real threat to Norman, Weigand and Udall.

"I’m going into this with a solid team. I think I run a real tight ship and a professional team. I don’t have any shortcuts and I want the riders to be comfortable.”

Penhall explained that of these riders have their own preferences as to everything from handlebars, to tires to energy drinks and described the way they’re coming together as a team.

“I’m not into pre-madonnas. I want to make everyone happy, but I expect the same in return.”
Some of these riders have contracts coming up and this huge effort by Penhall to create a winning team gives each rider the same opportunity to leverage a success when they sit down to work out deals for 2010. Penhall is doing everything he needs to gear up against the Hondas of JCR and he’s getting the support of the manufacturer. Penhall was also happy about SCORE’s impulsive move to start enforcing deviation and speeding violations.

“It’s awesome. It couldn’t be better, should’ve happened years ago. First, from a father’s standpoint, when you’re pre-running, you drop the kids off in Ojos and wait for em in Valley T. You know exactly how long it takes to pre-run. But you can add 3-4 hours onto that when the guys are looking for the best lines. As a father, you can’t help but wonder where they are.”

Penhall was firm about the new requirements to stay on course.
“But this time you’re gonna run the arrows. Everyone stick to the arrow. It’s a great thing. We go down there to win. We need to win the right way. This gives more of an even playing field.”

Penhall further explained another benefit of the strict rules enforcement. “Some other teams have been down there with machetes and we’ve have to go out and find those lines.” Obviously that’s a time consuming and disadvantageous position to be in.

Whether or not Destry Abbott gets added to the roster is just a technicality. And while Abbott doesn’t have a name in SCORE yet, he did win the Tecate Hare Scrambles in 2006. “It’s not a money thing for Des, who is a real Gem of a guy. It’s whether or not our deal had KAWASAKI’s blessing.”And things are starting to look that way.

Standby for more coverage as we follow this team along with class 22 contenders JCR, Ramirez and Corfman into the next granddaddy of em all, the BAJA 1000.

Here’s a brief look into Bruce Penhall’s rise to fame as an 80’s pop-culture icon
[nomedia="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CuzyTntj3A"]YouTube - Bruce Penhall - Master of Speedway[/nomedia]
 

Waldo

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That's gonna be a front runnin' team for sure. Can't wait!
 

Vtr_Racing

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The "Thrilla down the peninsula"! You get a "hell yeah" from me.......Who else here remembers watching Bruce on a Wed in San Berdu or on a Fri night in Costa Mesa? I loved watching Speedway.
 

Total Loss

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I have seen countless threads on "Putting down the big Red machine"
We will see this time.
Maybe its Green's turn. (outstanding cast for sure)
Good luck.
 

1fastbean

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It’s whether or not our deal had KAWASAKI’s blessing.


Thanks For sharing!! Great news!! I hope they give there blessing because from what I remember Kawasaki vowed never return to baja after Danny Hamel was killed at the 95 baja 500. I think it would be great to have another backed factory team down there not just what seems to be Honda.


With this line up of very talented riders Honda will definitely have their hands full at this years baja 1000. This kind of news actually makes class 22 (open) exciting not another typical dominating race for Honda.
 

jo maoma

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.......Who else here remembers watching Bruce on a Wed in San Berdu or on a Fri night in Costa Mesa? I loved watching Speedway.


don't remember that but i did watch him on "CHiPs"...


















:D
 

ORR183

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Hopefully the "KLX" is truely a "KLX"....I'm debating between an '09 KLX450R - CRF450X - or another KX450F, and need some influence.

I've yet to really hear of anyone getting a KLX to "perform"
 

Chase 2

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"The bikes are coming directly from the manufacturer with works components from Team Green and final blueprint from Precision Concepts."

That sounds like a factory blessing to me. I'm looking forward to seeing some real competition at the 1000, this is fantastic news indeed.
 

Kritter

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All it took was Sal stepping in to get rid of cheaters...not many factory efforts want to cheat to win except 1.
 

RyanWiW

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All it took was Sal stepping in to get rid of cheaters...not many factory efforts want to cheat to win except 1.

Thats an interesting statement considering that two of the "cheaters" of Team Honda are now riding for Penhall. Dont get me wrong, if someone can step up and actually give honda a run for their money, awesome! But i find it hard to believe that some people think Honda's success over the years is solely due to cheating.
 

Dezertpilot

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Thats an interesting statement considering that two of the "cheaters" of Team Honda are now riding for Penhall.

Does not matter at all, they arent the ones at Honda calling the shots they are just doing the riding, under order from team management.
 

RyanWiW

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Does not matter at all, they arent the ones at Honda calling the shots they are just doing the riding, under order from team management.

I'll agree with you there. So if that was you, wouldnt you do whatever it took to keep your job? Besides, before IRC, creative lines and doing your homework was part of racing in baja. Do you agree?
 

Vtr_Racing

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Besides, before IRC, creative lines and doing your homework was part of racing in baja. Do you agree?
That depends on how you look at it. If doing your "homework" means looking to cut off 3-5 miles of the marked course then I would say I do not agree.
Doing your "homework" means finding that good line through the wash past Ojos. Doing your "homework" means mentally noting the ruts or rock you dont want to hit, mentally noting how big a silt bed is. If your having to stash gas, note where that is. (some still do it). Timing your ride through a particular section
Thats still part of desert racing where a pre run is allowed. Deviating from the marked course was NEVER a condoned part of desert racing.
Was it happening? I think its very evident.
 

RyanWiW

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That depends on how you look at it. If doing your "homework" means looking to cut off 3-5 miles of the marked course then I would say I do not agree.
Doing your "homework" means finding that good line through the wash past Ojos. Doing your "homework" means mentally noting the ruts or rock you dont want to hit, mentally noting how big a silt bed is. If your having to stash gas, note where that is. (some still do it). Timing your ride through a particular section
Thats still part of desert racing where a pre run is allowed. Deviating from the marked course was NEVER a condoned part of desert racing.
Was it happening? I think its very evident.

Agreed, but you ran the risk of missing a checkpoint if you tried to cut 3-5 miles out of the course and how many times did Honda get DQ'ed for missing a checkpoint? (i dont actually know, so if anybody does, than feel free to share) What "doing homework" to me means is finding creative lines that yes, might cut the course a little bit, but not 3-5 miles. I think this was more prevelant with everyone before gps tracking was introduced.
 
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